Not until the development of the pulsed dye lasers (PDLs) in the late 1980s were the first successful results achieved on spider veins. The lasers that are used for spider veins treatment are better absorbed by their target (spider veins) as they emit at a specific wavelength. In particular, their energy is proportionately better absorbed by hemoglobin than the surrounding chromophores, and to the full depth of the target blood vessel. Sufficient energy must be delivered to damage the vessel without damaging the overlying skin.
The choice of wavelength and pulse duration is related to the morphology, color and the size of the target vessel. To be most effective, thermal injury caused on the spider veins under treatment must encompass the full thickness and circumference of the vein wall endothelium, rather than just the most superficial aspect of the vein wall. The heat generated from the laser causes blood coagulation inside the vessel, resulting to its collapse. Over the next few weeks, the vessel will disappear and all the blood will be removed by the body’s natural mechanisms.
The best laser to treat spider veins is the Nd-YAG laser, with a wavelength at 1064 nm. It is important to use protective eyewear throughout the session. The procedure involves placing the laser’s head over the spider vein and then applying consecutive laser shots all along the veins. The laser used for treating spider veins is not particularly painful and most patients consider it tolerable. A topical anesthetic cream before treatment or the use of cooling spray integrated on the laser prior to, during, or at the end of each pulse, are quite helpful. Downtime is rather short, and side effects include redness and edema of the treated area, which subside directly after the application. It is necessary to use a sunscreen after laser treatment to prevent post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The duration of treatment depends on the shape, size and area of the spider veins. It usually requires approximately 2 to 4 treatments to clear any residues of these pathological vessels.
In Cosmetic Derma Medicine, we use the latest generation Nd-Yag Candela laser, the most effective, safe and painless laser for treating spider veins. Apart from the vessels, we can also treat hemangiomas, or tighten the skin by selecting the proper laser parameters. Other than the laser treatment, sclerotherapy might also be required for the treatment of larger vessels.
The advantage of laser over sclerotherapy is that the first does not lead to bruising, which is quite common with sclerotherapy. Moreover, laser is safe for the summer months, and for slightly tanned skins.
In case of varicose veins with concomitant venous insufficiency on the lower extremities, evaluation by our clinic’s vascular surgeon and surgical treatment may be required.
Laser is the treatment of choice for spider veins that are located anywhere on the face. Spider veins are tiny vessels near the skin’s surface that look like very fine red, purple or blue wavy lines. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasias. They usually appear on the nose, cheeks, and rarely on the chin. There is no apparent cause for their appearance. Spider veins tend to develop with time as our skin and vessels lose their elasticity. Facial spider veins may also be due to sun exposure, hereditary causes, rosacea, long-term and systematic use of corticosteroids, and to the mechanical injuries on the facial skin.
Waxing is also another significant cause for facial spider veins. Women are more susceptible to get spider veins than men are. Although spider veins are not dangerous for one’s health, they tend to grow in size and number with time, so laser treatment for facial spider veins is necessary for aesthetic reasons. Surely, the sooner the treatment starts, the easier and faster it is to get rid of them.
The removal of facial spider veins with laser is a fast, easy and effective process. The laser we use to treat facial spider veins is the Nd-YAG laser. The Nd-YAG laser emits a specific wavelength (1064 nm) light beam that focuses on the blood’s red pigment (haemoglobin). Laser energy is selectively absorbed by the vessel, which is destroyed due to temperature increase.
This selective absorption of the laser energy offers the significant advantage of leaving the surrounding tissues intact. Over the next weeks, the vessels are absorbed by the body and disappear. No major preparation is required prior to a laser treatment session. Laser must be applied on clean skin, so on the day of the treatment the patient should avoid wearing any makeup, or tinted creams on the area that is going to be treated.
The entire process takes only a few minutes, and is well tolerated. In some cases, and if is required by the patient, the doctor may apply a topical anesthetic 15 to 20 minutes prior to the procedure. The laser for facial spider veins is equipped with a cooling spray system that sprays cool mist before, during and directly after each pulse, making the application less painful. Directly after a laser treatment on facial spider veins, the patient may experience a slight burning or stinging sensation, which will subside quite shortly. Moreover, the treated area may present mild redness and/or edema.
For a few days after laser treatment, patients are advised to use a topical corticosteroid preparation for quick recovery, as well as sunscreen, and avoid sunbathing in the summer. After treatment, the patient may directly resume his/her normal activities, and simply avoid further irritation of the treated site.
Most times the results are visible from the same day of treatment and completed within the next weeks.
Another factor that affects the cost for spider veins’ laser treatment is the morphology of the spider veins (diameter and color). The darker and larger vessels will require more applications to completely disappear. Finally, the patient’s tolerance during the session is equally significant. Again, the cost for each session will depend on the area that will be treated. Indicative prices on spider vein laser treatment are as follows:
Laser for facial spider veins starts at €60 per session (let it be noted that in some cases, it may only take one session to finally get rid of the problem)
The price for laser treatment on nose starts at €50 per session
The price for laser treatment on cheeks starts at €50 per session
The price for laser treatment on cleavage and trunk starts at €100 per session
The price for laser treatment on calves starts at €100 per session
The price for laser treatment on thighs starts at €100 per session
The price for laser treatment on legs starts at €100 per session
It should be noted that these prices regard small sessions. The final price will be formed after the patient’s clinical examination. Laser vein treatment packages are available at lower prices.